I didn't say that "because they are black they are facing these challenges." I just gave one relevent example of a community hit particularly hard by this issue as noted lately in press. Again, of course I don't think all black men are irresponsible.
As for generalizations - if we are to be intelligent at a macro (societal) level, we all must make generalizations to inform public policy. We'd be ignoring facts and intelligence if we didn't. An example - people in Mississippi tend to be more overweight than people in Colorado; what can we learn from this to address obesity in this country? It doesn't mean we're saying all Mississippans are fat. Or, gay Americans smoke cigarettes more often than their straight counterparts, a generalization we've been able to build massive and directed campaigns against smoking on. There's no hate there.
If we incite hate or *unfair treatment* based on generalizations, that's when it *can be* bad. I think that's where you and others can make good, sound counterpoints to me. There's no foul in the generalizations themselves - you disagree with my conclusions. And that's fine and that's your right and how we all get more clarity about each other's viewpoints.
An example when *unfair treatment* based on generalization is *good* in my opinion: A man wants to marry two women. He has beautiful, loving relationships with each. This happens today - I've heard stories on NPR where actors in these relationships (woman, woman, man) talk about how wonderful it is, how steeped in love it is. And yet, we say no. Why do we say no? I mean, many past and current cultures have/do condone this exact thing. Because even though three well-developed, great examples of people could pull this off and make it work, in *general* we know this to be bad for women and bad for our society - that most cannot pull this off. Right?
(Please - nobody say I'm equating polygamy to a gay relationship - I'm *not* - this is purely an *overt* example to illustrate a point.)
Nate in particular, and everybody else, it's obvious that being friends of Bradley and participating one way or another on this thread that you all have beautiful motivations and good hearts. It has been stimulating to talk with you all.
I absolutely disagree with you Jordy about using race, gender, or sexual-orientation generalizations to dictate public policy. You may say that there's no foul in the generalizations themselves, but you're using those very same generalizations to justify certain public policy, and your position on Proposition 8. That's not fair. It's one thing to use data about certain segments of the population to form awareness campaigns aimed at those very segments, but by the logic that you're using to justify your position on Proposition 8, then all black people should be denied the right to marry as well. If there's a higher incidence of irresponsible parenting in the black community, then should divorce be illegal for black people? Or, should they really be denied the right to marry? Of course not. And, I'm assuming that you would think that's preposterous as well. In other words, why should all gay people be denied the right to marry just because there's a higher incidence of failed relationships in that community? By denying those rights, we're not getting to the root of the problem -- failed relationships. We don't need to punish everyone of a certain group, just because some individuals in that group don't exhibit what's "best" for the entire group. If that doesn't make sense, I'm not too sure how I can present my argument more clearly.
In terms of polygamy, it was banned in society because it is the currently held belief among the majority of Americans that it's not good for ALL of society. Trans fats aren't just banned in fat communities in Mississippi. And, they're not just bad for fat people. They're bad for ALL people. If smoking is banned in public places, they're not going to only ban smoking in gay public places just because there's a higher incidence of smoking in the gay community, they're going to ban smoking in ALL public places because it's bad for ALL communities. Do you get it? The root of the problem is smoking and addiction, or consumption of trans fats. Polygamy wasn't banned in only the Mormon community, just because there may be a higher incidence of polygamous relationships among people of that religion. That would be making an unfair generalization about that religion and letting that generalization dictate public policy. Polygamy was banned because right now a majority of the people believe that it's not beneficial to society as a whole, and everyone is denied that right. If people feel that their rights to a polygamous relationship are being denied of them while at the same time public opinion changes about the nature and consequences of a polygamous relationship, then we should reexamine the public policy that's been put in place. I'm not advocating polygamy, nor am I saying that it should necessarily be legalized, but if we're ignoring the collective morality of society, and using generalizations to create laws, or deny certain rights, then we've failed as a society to include the critical values of any legal system, which are impartiality, neutrality, certainty, equality, openness, flexibility, and growth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_policy_(law)